Marijuana possession cases have been common charges in the Oregon criminal courts, but that is likely to change immediately.
On November 4, 2014, voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Oregon, and the first phase of legalization officially went into effect on July 1, 2015.
The new law will allow adults to:
- possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana in their home, and carry 1 oz outside their home.,
- grow 4 marijuana plants per household.
You are also allowed to gift up to 1 ounce of marijuana to another person (or 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused product, 72 ounces if it is a liquid infused).
What is still illegal?
- It is illegal to use marijuana in public.
- It is still illegal to sell marijuana without a license, which no one has yet.
- It is still illegal to have marijuana if you are under 21 years of age.
- You still can’t carry around more than 1 oz of marijuana.
- It is illegal to grow more than 4 plants in your home, or grow them in public view.
The retail dispensary licensing process will being in January, 2016 and be undertaken by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Retail stores selling marijuana are not likely to be open before the fall of 2016.
Though possession of under 1oz of marijuana possession is legal for adults, marijuana possession can still be a criminal charge in some cases. Unfortunately you could be facing jail time, large fines and a criminal record for some marijuana offenses, since as possession if under 21, or carrying more than an ounce outside of your home.
So while most people are much better off, the people who are accused are facing relatively serious offenses like illegal marijuana distribution or intent to sell.
When at risk of life-changing penalties, you need an attorney skilled and experienced in handling marijuana cases in the local courts. You need a hard working attorney going to bat for you.
As part of a free legal defense consultation, you can evaluate your legal options, and get some advice on what your opportunities are to fight and win in court. It makes sense to look at every reasonable opportunity to avoid a permanent criminal record for an Oregon marijuana possession offense.
Whether you are charged with simple possession or distribution, it is a criminal charge that could leave a permanent blemish on your record. This can affect many things down the line and you are likely frightened by what all this conviction could mean to you.
Contact us today to find out how we can help. There’s no obligation.
Oregon Possession Laws & Penalties
If you are charged with possession of marijuana in Oregon, the penalty you face depends on the amount involved. If you were caught with:
Less than 1 ounce: Legal for over 21 outside the home.
More than 8 ounces: Class B Violation. A ticket, not a criminal offense.
More than 16 ounces: You face a Class B Misdemeanor criminal charge.
More than 32 ounces: You face a Class C Misdemeanor felony charge. This law may be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor if a pending bill passes.
Public consumption of marijuana is a Class B Violation (not criminal, fines up to $1000.)
Ref: Or. Rev. Stat. §475
Avoiding a Criminal Record w/Marijuana Possession Charges
Oregon recognizes people makes mistakes and offers what is called conditional discharge, conditional release or diversion for some first-time marijuana offenders. This means that, if you qualify, you can fulfill terms set forth by the court (similar to probation). If you succeed the charges are dropped and do not appear as a conviction on your record.
The best way to determine if you may be eligible for conditional release is to consult with an experienced attorney. We can argue to get you into any diversion programs for which you may be eligible.
Marijuana Growing – Laws & Penalties
You can grow up to 4 plants in your home.
|Less than 4 plants||None||None|
|5-8 Plants||Class B misdemeanor||Up to 6 months in jail and $2500 in fines|
|More than 9 plants||Class C felony||Up to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $125,000|
Marijuana Unlawful Delivery (Distribution) – Laws & Penalties
If you are charged with unlawful delivery of marijuana, you face much harsher penalties than for simple possession. One of the things that changes the potential penalty you receive is if money or property was exchanged for the marijuana or if it was considered a gift.
|Sale to a person under 21||Class C Felony||Up to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $125,000|
|Unlawful delivery||Class B felony||Up to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $250,000|
Ref: Or. Rev. Stat. §475
It is important remember that if the crime of marijuana distribution was committed within 1000 feet of a school, the charge and potential penalty will be elevated. If this is the situation in your case and you are concerned about the elevated charges you are facing, give us a call to discuss how it can affect your case.
Marijuana Charge in Oregon? Free Criminal Defense Consultation
Facing criminal charges can be frightening regardless of the seriousness of the crime. If you are charged with a marijuana offense, you need the help and advice of an experienced Oregon defense lawyer.
Please contact us today.